New Eyebrows

  1. Through following a series of links on Instagram, I found Kristie Streicher. She believes in a full, natural feathered brow. I absolutely adore this look, but my brows are very sparse and pale. As per her instructions to her clients, I’ve decided to let my brows grow for at least 8 weeks and see what happens. When I first decided to do this, I knew it would be difficult to not tweeze for 8 weeks, but oh boy, it’s so much harder than I anticipated. I’m sticking with this, though because I have a feeling that I’ll end up with brows I’m much happier with than my current ones. Just for the record- I “draw” on my eyebrows every day.  I’ve been doing this for at least 10 years and while I think I do a fairly good job, I do not love how perfectly sculpted they look. I’ve attempted to draw a more natural looking brow, but it’s a lot of work! The perfect looking brow is much easier.

  2. We spent Memorial Day weekend with our nephew and it was so nice. It’s been entirely too long since we had that kid over. His sister was very good about inviting herself for a visit and I think I had gotten so used to her just asking to come to our place that I forgot that our nephew doesn’t work that way. Now that I’m on the right track, I hope to have him over more often because it was a really good time! The Nephew is super into trying new foods and he’s not particularly fussy about what he eats, so we had a full weekend of great food. First we went to the 4th annual Taco Festival of Innovation. It’s a gathering of fancy food trucks who don’t usually do tacos, doing tacos. The vibe at this festival is super laid back and we figured that we’ve got 2-3 more years until it’s completely ruined by too many people. Sunday morning we went to dim sum. Our favorite place is extremely popular and the wait can be hilariously long. We got lucky and only had to wait about 15 minutes. It was The Nephew’s first time having dim sum and he really enjoyed it! Andy decided to give The Nephew a cooking lesson. Andy taught him to make coleslaw (a nephew favorite) and grilled steak. Our dinner that nigh was great!

  3. I’m a big fan of the subscription box. We get Murray the Bark Box, and I subscribe to Beauty Tube, PopSugar Must Haves and Nature Box. The Bark Box is a huge success. Without exception, Murray loves every single toy he gets from them, The treats are hit or miss, but that’s okay. I make a really big deal out of opening the box and Murray gets very excited and the whole thing is hilarious and so much fun. The Beauty Tube is, as you might imagine, beauty products. You get a lot of stuff in each box and it’s a good mix of drugstore and high end products. Of course I’m not interested in EVERYTHING I get sent, but it’s fun to keep the stuff and let my friends and family go through it and see if there’s anything they’re interested in. I like enough of the products they send to keep up with the subscription. I’ve only gotten one PopSugar Must Haves box and I was extremely impressed with it. They do a mixture of beauty, food, lifestyle and home goods. I’m excited to get more boxes and see what goodies those contain. My first box had some delicious taffy, a beach towel, a very cute necklace, an adorable little vase, dry shampoo, and shave balm. Nature Box is snacks. They focus on “healthy” snacks. I put healthy in quotes because there are an awful lot of cookies and dried fruit and nuts to choose from and I think they healthiness of those items is somewhat dubious. That said, I do think the products are tasty and high quality and you can choose to either be surprised by what you get or choose your own snacks. The thing I’m most excited about from them are their little cups of oatmeal. I’d mostly given up on oatmeal because it spikes my blood sugar and leaves me feeling sick. I decided to give these little cups try because they carbs were relatively low and I figured if they didn’t work out for me, Andy could take the remaining cups to work. It turns out that these little cups are a great snack for me and I enjoy them so much!

Salt Toothpaste

Listen, you knew when you married me that I loved the hell out of a numbered list blog post. Let’s keep this 3 Things going! Just for fun!

1. Our new sofa gets delivered tomorrow. We’re going to do more to refresh our living room, but for right now it’s a new sofa and some new pillows for the sofa. I’m so excited!

  1. When Andy bought his car a few years ago, he got super into fancy car washing stuff. There are so many emollients, potions and let’s not get started on the various types microfiber clothes he’s got! I’ve asked him to put together a mini car wash kit for me. We had this treatment done to my car so that to keep it looking great, I just need to run through a gas station car was that’s touchless. I really love that I am supposed to wash my fancy car at a gas station, it costs me something like 7 bucks! Come on! With this little kit, I can vacuum my car (at the gas station) and then make my car super clean on the inside. I am ridiculously excited about this little car washing kit. IT’S LIKE A MAKEUP KIT, BUT FOR MY CAR!

  2. I bought this salt toothpaste from Weleda the other day and I was super exited to try this natural, blah, blah toothpaste. HAHAHAHAHA. It’s literally the worst tasting thing I’ve ever put in my mouth. I mean, firstly, it’s brown. That’s not a great start for toothpaste. Secondly, it smells pretty bad. It smells like something your old country grandma would drink as some manner of tonic. Thirdly, as I mentioned, it tastes horrible. I tried really hard to brush for two whole minutes, but I think I made it about 10 seconds. Gross.

3 things Day Four.

  1. Have I told you that we’re going to Anguilla in April? We are. It’s a reward from Andy’s work and I’m not super excited about it, which sounds hugely assholey, I know. Except, here is the thing, no matter how nice Anguilla is (it will take 10+ hours to get there) and no matter how nice the resort is, we are still with Andy’s work people and that’s not the same as a real vacation. Anyway, we’re doing it and I’m not excited about it and now you know that I’m an asshole. (If we were going to Hawaii, I would be singing another tune because I love Hawaii more than I love any other place.)

  2. Andy got me a beautiful watch for my birthday. If my two favorite watches had a baby, it would be this watch. I love it so much, I cannot stop looking at it, which is sort of hilarious because I haven’t used a watch to tell the time since I got an iPhone.

  3. Listen, I’ve decided that I’m going to do a project to that allows me to send you fun stuff in the mail. Send me your address by March 5th and before the end of the month, I’ll send you a small gift of some handmade notecards. My hope is that you’ll send the notecards to someone to help brighten their day. If you end up hoarding the notecards, that’s okay, too. Yay, let’s do this fun thing! My e mail is catiecake at yahoo dot com. Do we still have to do that? Spell it out? It’s been so long since I’ve blogged for real, I have no idea what the protocol for such a thing is anymore!

6 Things- Day Two

I forgot to post my list of three things yesterday, so you get 6 things today! So lucky!

  1. I drove to San Carlos yesterday to meet my friend, Traci. A couple weeks ago we painted some pottery and today we went to pick our pieces up. I painted a bowl and I’m pleased with how it turned out. It’s not a cheap endeavor, but I wouldn’t mind doing a few more bowls so I could have a whole set. We ate lunch at a casual French place and my food was so delicious! I had a quiche with a salad. Andy and I both really love quiche and yet I never make it. This is ridiculous and clearly I need to change things up.

2. Listen, I enjoy watching The Real Housewives. The California ones are my all time favorites, but I’m no stranger to New York and New Jersey. Right now, thought, it’s all about Beverly Hills and I cannot get enough of it. Do any of my friends watch? I seriously need to gossip about how much I love Lisa Rinna and how much I dislike Brandi.

3. Andy’s trip to NYC got cancelled. Or, rather, he cancelled it. I will admit only to you that I was looking forward to being by myself and eating dinner at a ridiculously early hour. Andy has been working very long hours lately and eating dinner at 8 pm or later sort of kills me dead. I know that I could eat dinner without him, but sharing an evening meal together is important, so I wait.

  1. When I was in high school, I put my bed against one wall, my stereo against another and then I pushed my dresser into the closet. Over several months, I covered the stereo wall with carefully curated images from fashion magazines. Although my mom always gave me a say in how my room looked, that was my first real taste of the power of creating a space for myself and how satisfying it can be. One of the most difficult things for me about marriage is not being able to do whatever I want in our home. I happily married a man who cares about design and who came to this relationship with a strong design aesthetic and while part of me wishes I could have an entirely pink house (I absolutely would and it would be perfect and all you people who think that much pink would be horrible would be proven wrong) I’m glad that Andy doesn’t just let me do whatever I want. I’m undoubtedly over-represented in our house, but Andy gets to keep every single cable that’s ever come into our possession, so there is a balance.

  2. I am seriously considering buying a denim vest and then decorating the back of it. THIS IS SERIOUS.

  3. I’ve started making envelops and liners from my fancy papers. Notecards are next and then we’ll have ourselves some gifts to give away!

3 Things.

Let’s make numbered lists this week, 3 things every day. Ready. Set. Go!

  1. I’ve been tidying up my office after several months of just using that room as a giant junk drawer. The nice thing about cleaning up the office is that it’s great when everything is put away and you can clearly see exactly what you have. The sort of horrifying thing about cleaning up the office is that you discover you should never ever buy another roll of wrapping paper tape and you might need an intervention because of your collection of fine and handmade papers.

  2. A couple weeks ago, we bought Andy some fancy type clothes (a sports coat, some nicer pants & shirts) because of a business trip he’s taking this week. I’ve been pushing for nicer clothes for years, but Andy successfully resisted it until now. The tech industry in the Bay Area is a casual affair and the better dressed a person is, it’s assumed that equals being further away from the technology. I mean, there was a woman Andy used to meet with who didn’t wear shoes to the meetings. NO SHOES! In the winter she wore socks because she’s not an animal, obviously.  I LOVE these dressier clothes and think that Andy looks so super handsome in them and I hope that he wears them on our super fancy dates. (We should probably start having super fancy dates.)

  3. Since I’ll be on my own for most of the week, I need to come up with some nice meals to make myself. I’m copying Andy with this. When he’s on his own, he prepares himself the nicest meals. I love that and it’s obviously a wonderful idea to treat yourself as much as possible, so I’ma do the same thing. I really like making my own salad dressings and I’ve had the idea for a few new ones I want to try, so I’ll do that this week. If the dressings are any good, I’ll post the recipes on Instagram. I think I should cook myself some manner of chicken, maybe a spicy shrimp dish and then I’ve been very hungry for lasagna, so I’ll do that and then we can have leftovers through the weekend. It’s a plan!

One. Thing. At. A. Time.

This has been sort of a horrible week. First I will start with the not horrible parts.

I went to my mom’s classroom and set up a hot chocolate bar for the kids. They could add crushed Oreos, mini chocolate chips, shaved white chocolate, homemade marshmallows and itsy bitsy marshmallows to their hot chocolate. Kids love a buffet, I’ll tell you what. They loved that they could add EVERYTHING if they wanted to. I can only imagine that their drinks were disgusting, but they were happy. Their favorite part what when I added whipped cream to their cups and it made the hot chocolate SMOKE (also known as steam.) The hot chocolate bar was a well appreciated treat for the kids. I’ll go back next week to make little dragons for Chinese New Year. (I’ve been saving this project for years, so I’m really looking forward to it.)

The other good thing that happened is I talked to my friend, Kimmy. Conversations with her are always restorative.

The rest of the week was gross and awful and the reason why is so stupid! A couple, maybe three weeks ago, my doctor started me on a new medicine. One of the possible side effects of this medicine is yeast infections and I told my doctor that if there was even an inkling of a yeast infection, that I was out and I would not reconsider. Foot down! I had chronic yeast infections for TWO YEARS and once I cured myself of that, I refuse to go back. The worst thing in the world is to be super aware of your vagina every second, you know what I mean? Anyway, it’s been going just fine with this new medicine and then I stupidly decided to try some new supplements AND to increase the dosage of some other  supplements. People, how many times do I have to tell you that you can only change ONE thing at a time? If you change a bunch of stuff at once, you will never know how well any of it is working. All these changes meant that I felt tired and nauseated and gross and also awful. The only day I didn’t feel tired and nauseated and gross and also awful was when I went to my mom’s classroom and that’s because I didn’t take my vitamins that day. A HA! It took me a whole other day to figure that out what the cause of my distress was. Today I took just my regular tried and true stuff, plus the new medicine and guess what?

I FELT FINE ALL DAY. I hope you fools have finally learned your lesson or whatever.

We don’t have any plans for the weekend, but I just decided that we should go to Palo Alto and see what’s what and maybe eat some tacos at Tacolicious. We should also (maybe) put away the Christmas stuff for real. None of the decorations are still up, but they aren’t packed away in the garage, either. Look, this isn’t a productivity blog.

Murray Grooming

Oh man, I did not intend to let so much time pass between blog posts! I knew it would be hard to get back into the groove of writing on the regular, but I don’t think I realized HOW hard. Anyway, I’m here now and you can breathe easy because I know you’ve really missed these tiny missives of mine.

Did you know that I groom Murray my ownself? It started when he was a puppy. I figured that since I was a hair stylist and understood hair growth patterns and whatever else that there was zero reason to take Murray to the groomer. His first haircut took me SEVEN HOURS. Of course there were breaks and a lot of them, but still SEVEN HOURS. I cut his hair like you do a person, I sectioned him off, and then used my fingers to hold up sections of hair and cut it to the desired length. News Flash: This is not how you cut a dog’s hair. Eventually I took my clippers and just sheared him like a sheep because the first haircut 100% looked like his mom gave him a haircut. His dog mom, not his human mom.  I was very lucky to be in a Flickr group for Wheaten Terrier owners that included a dog groomer (Hi, Annie!) and she has always been exceptionally generous with advice.  I also watched a ton of You Tube videos and I bought the right tools. I even bought a grooming table, but when it arrived, it was damaged, so I just stuck with sitting on the floor. It’s not the greatest situation, but it works for us. I’m pretty good with the Murray grooming now. It helps to have a very cute dog with beautifully curly champagne blonde hair, though. Murray begrudgingly goes through the grooming routine and really does his best to be a good boy throughout the whole process. Wheaten Terriers are supposed to have a very specific haircut. Murray’s curly hair isn’t well suited to that style, so I do a modified Wheaten cut. Right now I’ve left him a bit fluffy and his butt looks so big and I love how it looks when he runs.

My favorite thing is that Every Single Time, when we’re about halfway through, Murray walks slowly away from me, gives a very vigorous shake and then hides in some remote part of the living room (the living room doubles a s beauty shop.) When I call him back to me, he walks the slowest walk in the entire world. I’m pretty sure a snail would get to me faster than Murray does. Once he makes the arduous journey back to me, he pleads with his soulful brown eyes for us to be finished. Oh Murray, a woman as vain as me would ever let her dog go around looking half groomed. It’s embarrassing that this even needs to be addressed.

One of the things I am most proud of training Murray to do is after each comb out and particularly after a haircut, he knows he’s supposed to shake it and then sit in front of me so I can admire him. He almost always sits with a super snotty attitude, like a kid with one hip stuck out, and pretty much rolls his eyes while I tell him how beautiful he is. I love this dog so much. He has the best sense of humor and I am not embarrassed to admit that I am totally jealous of his champagne blonde curls.

BLERG

Today is not a great day. There’s nothing specific wrong, I just feel blerg.

I have one tiny story. Part of our fence fell down on New Year’s Eve. The neighbors who share that fence with us are renters and they were extremely distraught about the whole thing. We’re not so bothered mostly because fences fall down and it’s not that big of a deal. It’s going to get fixed. Well it turns out that they were upset because they have their dogs spend considerable amount of time outside. The dog is a 14 year old Silky Terrier, I think. I told them that they could let her out and if she came into our yard, it was totally fine. She is LOVING exploring our yard. She spends at least 30 minutes in our yard every day, sniffing, looking, trotting around. She even barked at one of the sliding doors. I’m guessing she figures if she gets to go in the year, she should also be allowed to go in the house. Murray has not noticed her yet, which is good news because I am not looking forward to hearing the fit he’s going to throw when he sees a DOG in HIS backyard. I know he’s a bit puzzled by smelling where she’s peed back there, but he hasn’t quite figure it out yet. Anyway, I’m enjoying watching her scamper around back there. I’ll miss her when that fence finally gets fixed.

(The reason it’s taking a while is that wind storm did a lot of damage in our area and our fence is far from being the only one that fell down. I’ve called two different fence builders that won’t even return my call!)

Nacho Party, Yo.

Welp, I finally got Christmas put away. I always regret how much I decorate for Christmas when it’s time to put it all away. Now I have to restyle the mantel, coffee table and the shelf that serves as our odd entry way. My dream for our next house is to have a proper foyer. How I dream of a foyer, I shop for coat racks and shoe storage and cute hooks for our keys and other essentials. It’s important to have goals, at least that’s what they say. Anyway, Christmas is put away and I’m covered in glitter as a result.

Andy’s in Las Vegas at his conference and I’m caught in between missing him and the relief of being alone. I hate it when Andy is gone for too long, but when it’s just a few days, it’s not so bad and there’s something nice about just needing to tend to myself and the pets. I wonder what it would be like if I didn’t have the animals. Would it be too lonely? Probably. These two furry knuckleheads keep me from getting too relaxed.

I got an offer from Amazon to try Prime Fresh for 30 days for free. It normally costs $299 a year. They deliver groceries and many other products, sometimes the same day, depending on what time you order. I’m taking advantage of the free 30 days, but I won’t be signing up because the grocery thing was the big pull for me, but I’m already so hermity, the last thing i need is another thing that makes it easy for me to stay home.

Right after Christmas, HBO showed all 5 seasons of The Wire in High Definition. We recorded all the episodes and I’ve been watching it since. Man, I love this show. The characters are so beautifully written. The story lines are engaging and feel authentic. I’ve already seen the series all the way through at least twice, so I’m not binge watching them, but during this time of television show famine, I like sit down and watch a couple episodes at a time.

One last thing- I watched the Golden Globes last night and Holy Mother, it was boring. I guess the A/C wasn’t working because everyone was sweaty and fanning themselves. That’s not good form when you’ve got a room full of people wearing varying levels of compression garments. Also, how pissed would you be if you spend hours on getting yourself looking pretty just to sweat through it? Those poor celebrities!

It’s time for me to party with some nachos. Peace out!

MURRAY

Yesterday marked 6 years since we picked up Murray, so today marks the date when I was pretty sure I had ruined our very nice life by getting a puppy. So many of you know this already, but those puppy days were so very hard on me. I was still deeply grieving the loss of the kitty love of my life, Petey, and Murray was such a hard baby dog. At first I thought it was me. I mean, Cesar Milan said it was me. Several dog training books and websites insisted that the humans needed to firmly, yet gently, let Murray know we were the boss. I cannot tell you how gratifying it was to have an experienced, well respected dog trainer struggle with my dog. Murray’s puppy days are a tear-stained, blurry mess to me. I recognized he was cute, but I was not in love with him.

When Murray was around 8 months old, I had a tearful conversation in a parking lot with our dog trainer about how I wasn’t sure I could keep Murray. I wasn’t sure I wanted to be challenged every single day by my pet. The dog trainer was extremely understanding and even encouraging of me finding a new home for Murray. He assured me that there were people out there that would happily take Murray and I could find myself a dog that better suited me. I had horribly mixed emotions about the whole thing. I made a decision in that moment, a decision to recommit to the process of training Murray and to do my absolute best with him before I let go. I knew that if I did my best and it still didn’t work, I would feel okay about finding Murray another home.  As I said yesterday, I worked so hard with this dog. There were two obedience classes a week, private lessons, practicing on our own every day.

All that training was totally worth the effort because not only did I love the process, but it got me a very well behaved dog who is aces at obedience, I have an amazing bond with this furry dude. I am madly in love with Murray. I love how ridiculous he is. I love what a charmer he is out in public and I especially love that he makes everyone who comes into our house like he loves them SO MUCH.

Most of you follow me on Instagram and Facebook, so you’ve already seen Murray today, but have you seen Baby Murray? Here he is:

So sleepsy

At first. he was called Oliver. That is clearly not his name.

NOSE

Ready for work!See that red leash in the last photo? Murray spent the first year of his life tethered to the coffee table if we were not in the room because you could not trust him. At a year, we still couldn’t trust him a lot, but he was strong enough to move the table, so, you know, there wasn’t much point.

Happy Home Coming Day, Murray Don Carlo Anchev. You are so loved.